Advent Day 19 – Too Many Cookies!

Missed the AC/DC Advent guess-a-thon today again.  Yet another R2/D2

Today the Wife and I both had the day off and so we baked. 191 cookies to be exact (that’s 1 cookie fewer than 16 dozen, in case you were wondering) and we stopped at only 4 different kinds, half of the cookies that were on my original spreadsheet. Why yes, I have a Christmas cookie spreadsheet, color coded with formulas that calculate the total amounts of all ingredients we need, convert from US to metric measures, and count the total number of eggs needed depending on which cookies need just the yolks, just the whites, or the whole egg.  OCD much?

I made two new ones this year, Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and Spitzbuben.  The Oatmeal Cranberry was the result of our mutual obsession with all things cranberry this year and the recipe came from the Food Network. The Spitzbuben recipe came from chefkoch.de. Both are absolutely keepers! The Oatmeal Cranberry are amazingly light and crispy on the outside and chewy inside with the spices (cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon – we have cardamom pods from the local Indian grocery store and grind the seeds ourselves, much cheaper that way.  We also keep a nutmeg nut around and grate any nutmeg we need fresh from that) giving it the perfect pop of flavor to enhance the oats. They were also really easy to make.  As always with our oven, cooking time was reduced by about 3 minutes, even though we lowered the heat by about 10 °F.

The Spitzbuben dough was also incredibly easy to make (just dump everything together into the bowl of the mixer and use the dough hook for a few minutes then a few minutes kneading it by hand) and a joy to work with and the taste is terrific, very buttery and almond-y.  We used 4 different fillings for them: homemade quince jelly from a friend of mine, organic raspberry-strawberry mixed jelly, lemon-ginger marmalade, and a small amount of rose petal jelly (we had enough of that left for exactly 2 cookies, one for the Wife and one for me.) Our new Spitzbuben cookie cutter (spring loaded, to pop out the doughnut shaped top) worked perfectly and the tops looked just like little gears, very Steampunk-y food items.

We listened to a really lovely mix tape ((We’re old, OK? I still call playlists on iTunes (which – why isn’t it called earTunes?) mix tapes) and yes, I’ve closed all my parentheses in this paragraph, in case you were wondering.) Some favorites from it were:

and

We also visited Christmas Island with Jimmy Buffet (won’t work in Germany, sorry 😦 this one was particularly difficult to find online.  I, of course, have the album)

and considered New Zealand for next year (we will for the first time ever both have 2 weeks off at Christmas next year) I’m sure this song had nothing to do with it!

We went for another good swim while waiting for all the butter cookie doughs to harden in the fridge.  2,750 meters in about an hour and twenty minutes.  A lot of short, high intensity reps in this workout, along with some 300 meters of 3,5,7 breathing drills. Unlike last week, I didn’t get a headache at the end of all that, so maybe a sign of progress.  I also didn’t feel that we were completely outclassed by the other triathletes sharing our lane or in the lane next to us (actually, we were both faster than and swam longer than the guy sharing with us, so yay for that as well.) I spent today’s swim thinking about my feet and trying to keep kicking the whole time. I often think so hard on my hands, head, and breathing that I completely forget about the lower half of my body and it just hangs there like so much flotsam.

In conclusion, I think we baked way too many cookies, even counting all the ones we intend to give away as gifts and at various group events. 16 dozen cookies and 4 kilograms of fudge (4.5 when you consider what we sent to the Wife’s parents last week) but it was fun.

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